Under Two Flags by Heinz Weichardt
Topics Under Two Flags
, Heinz Weichardt
, Benjamin Freedman
, National Socialism
, World War II
"Under Two Flags", an important personal testimonial along the same lines as Benjamin H. Freedman's "A Jewish Defector Warns America". It is the story of a German Jew who told the truth about Hitler, National Socialism, the Nuremberg Laws, NS policies, and World War II, from his own personal experience. Though subject to these laws, he had no bitterness towards Hitler. This is a long, but very fascinating and enlightening essay.
"First a few biographical notes about myself. My father, Dr. Carl Weichardt, of Frisian background, was among the dozen leading journalists of Germany, during the years 1911 to 1944. From 1912 to 1932 he was chief editorial writer and foreign correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung, the leading liberal German newspaper, Jewish owned. From 1934 to 1944 he was editor and in charge of reporting about all major cultural events for the Berliner Morgenpost, the largest German daily then and again today. During that time the Morgenpost was owned by the publishing house, Eher, which also published the Völkische Beobachter, the official government paper during the Hitler years. After the Second World War he became the co-founder of a small south-German newspaper. He died in the year 1955. His brother became an officer in the Imperial Army during the First World War and during the Weimar Republic he was the adjutant to General-Field Marshal and President von Hindenburg in the latter's honor regiment. His oldest son lied about his age to join the army during World War I and became a lieutenant at the age of eighteen. He remained with the Reichswehr during the Weimar years and became a high level officer in the Wehrmacht. He fell during the campaign in Russia. The next son was active as a radical nationalist as early as 1921 and was even jailed for a few months because of it during the Weimar years. Later he became a NS party functionary. The third son became a Reichswehr officer and later a lieutenant colonel in the Wehrmacht. He was seriously wounded in Russia but is still alive and well at the age of ninety-four. The fourth, my youngest cousin, fell as a member of Rommel's Afrika-Korps and is buried at Tobruk. A brother of my grandfather emigrated to South Africa and his son, Louis Weichardt, was the highly respected founder of the National Socialist movement of South Africa in the early thirties. During the war he was incarcerated by the British. At the end of the war he was released and became the senator of the province Natal. He was so highly respected that after his death in 1985, even the Zionist Capetown Times, which had fought him for sixty years, wrote a decent obituary.
My mother, of Jewish extraction, was a professional musician and renowned opera singer. Her father fought in the Prussian army during the Franco-Prussian war of 1871. Her brother-in-law was a professional soldier and captain in the Imperial Austrian army. He fell during the first six days of World War I when Russia invaded Austria and Germany. Her first cousin, also an Austrian officer, received shrapnel in his right lung on the same occasion and spent the following seven years as prisoner of war in Siberia. Another of her cousins fell on the Western Front and still another cousin survived all actions of the war in the Balkans and became, during the early thirties, personal adjutant to prince Starhemberg, the leader of the Austrian Nationalist, but not National Socialist, Heimwehren until the Anschluss.
I was born in 1914 and grew up in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, depending on my father's assignments. From 1929 to the end of 1938 I lived in Berlin where I finished my intermediate schooling and obtained my master's degree in engineering-physics from the Berlin Institute of Technology. I like to emphasize the military participation of the Jewish part of my family because this was by no ways an exception but rather the norm, especially among the more well-to-do Jewish families which strived to be Germans first and in many cases, such as my family's, to forget their Jewishness by letting themselves be baptized. It is generally well known that in no other country in the world was the Jewish community assimilated as well as in Germany. Examples: One of the best known German romanticists, H. Heine, was Jewish (baptized); the greatest Jewish composer, Mendelssohn, was another German romanticist and to this day his music cannot be performed in some synagogues because he too had himself baptized. The best friend of the Kaiser was Albert Ballin, the Jewish founder of the largest German shipping line and the only person who had a private telephone line into the emperor's bedroom. The famous Jewish chemist Haber was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry where he developed the process for the production of ammonia from the nitrogen in the air. For this he received the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Without this process the German armament industry would not have been able to produce sufficient munitions within one year into World War I. As a fact, the condition of the 500,000 Jews among the sixty million Germans was such that at the beginning of the war in 1914 the American-Jewish press stood solidly behind Germany.
What happened then? Why was there virulent "anti-Semitism" in Germany only ten to fifteen years later?"